I am about to completely embarrass myself by showing you my spice cabinet "before" picture. Brace yourself. Some people have skeletons in their closets. I, apparently, have a spice catastrophe in mine.
How did anyone find anything in that mess? Who on Earth would ever allow her spice cabinet to look like that? What is wrong with me? It's not my fault, though. (One of the first signs you have a problem is denial, but let's not talk about that right now. I'd rather talk about my really cool excuse.) It's not my fault because my family is afflicted with the dreaded CPIBR disease. What? You've never heard of CPIBR disease? Where have you been? Okay. Mama will teach you.
CPIBR stands for "Can't Put It Back Right." The primary symptoms of the disease are an ability to find an item, but after using the item, there is an inability to put the item back where it was found. In severe cases, particularly when the entire family is infected, there is often an inability to find the item in the first place. This disease is contagious and is at epidemic proportions in our country. (The CPIBR disease probably somehow relates back to Monsanto, but that's another post.) There is no known cure for CPIBR, but there are some things you can do to help control the symptoms.
Over the years, I have found ways to help control my family's symptoms of CPIBR. There have always been hotspots throughout the house, though, where the symptoms of the disease are particularly apparent. At each hotspot I try to come up with solutions that will keep things neat without my family even realizing it. Some areas of the house, though, are nearly impossible to keep tidy. I would re-organize like a wild woman but, no matter what organizational method I tried, it would be a mess again in a matter of weeks. Epic Fail.
The spice cabinet was one of these areas. If I organized the baking spices separately from the savory spices, it generally took about a minute before someone would decide to make cinnamon toast and then put the cinnamon with the crushed pepper flakes. Oh, the inhumanity! I would tell myself that at least they had put it back, right? And then I would calmly move the cinnamon over to its spot beside the nutmeg, ignoring the nervous tic in my hand as I did. But with 5 people putting things in the wrong places, I just couldn't keep up.
CPIBR is an ugly disease.
I am happy to report that my spice cabinet has now been organized for over a month. That has to be a record around here.
I credit these little gems with my success:
That's right, folks. Those are stackable spice jars (affiliate link) from Mountain Rose Herbs. I put easy-to-read labels on there and Voila! Success!
Of course, I also used some of my beloved mason jars for the larger spices and spices that I measure out by the tablespoon:
I put some of the more highly used (by my CPIBR-afflicted family) spices on lazy susans, so they could easily be found without digging. One of the great things about stackable spices (besides being stackable, of course) is that it is pretty obvious which stack is missing the spice you've been using. Putting it back in the right place becomes instinctive.
For large items like sugars, dried veggies, and measuring cups, I used these cool market baskets:
Here is my spice cabinet about 3 weeks after I organized it. Do you notice anything unusual about it? I do. It's still organized!!!
Stackable Jars may not be the cure for CPIBR disease, but at least we're controlling the symptoms.
(And yes, I know I have a ton of spices. I cook a lot. Three or four times a day. Plus baking. From scratch. And yes, I know that's weird. And yes, I do daydream about hiring a cook.)
Are you or your family infected with the dreaded CPIBR disease?
I feel your pain.
Happy organizing. (And reorganizing. Again.)
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